There an estimate 700 to 1000 unaccompanied children in Calais Jungle Camp at present ranging in age from 10 to 17 years old. I look at my Year 4 students, some of whom are 10 and wonder how they could possibly survive alone in such a hostile environment.
Some of these unaccompanied children have a right to enter Britain due to having family there already. However due to bureaucratic dragging of feet many of these children have spent months alone in the Jungle. Fourteen children aged 14 to 17 arrived by coach at the head office of UK Visas and Immigration in Croydon, south London, to register with the Home Office.The youngsters, who are understood to come from war-torn countries including Syria and Sudan, will be processed at the centre before they are reunited with relatives already living in Britain. They are the first of some 100 children who are expected to make the same journey this week as French authorities prepare to raze the Jungle camp to the ground. Daily Mail Online.
What will become of the other 600+ children that remain at the camp? Earlier this year the southern section of the ‘Jungle’ was dismantled which resulted in over 100 children missing. How can we allow this to happen?
Having lived in Ireland until recently, I am ashamed to say that it is an assignment task that has caused me to take an in depth look at the refugee camp at Calais in Northern France. I had been aware that there were issues around the Channel Tunnel, but had no idea of the extent of the horrific living conditions and treatment of the human beings who have to live there. It is a truly despicable situation that is perpetuated knowingly by two of the most powerful countries in Europe; France and Britain.
Calais Refugee Camp Map
Calais Refugee Camp
Scroll to bottom of page to view images. The real face of migration. As educators what must be our priorities for these children in refugee camp. How different their life experiences are to the majority of children who will sit in our classes tomorrow as we commence term 4. ?
I really enjoyed reflecting on the Liminal Space. It was very satisfying to know that the knots in my tummy would through perseverance dissipate.This ‘unknowing ‘ space is part of the learning process and however uncomfortable it leads to deeper learning.
By modelling and explaining this ‘unknowing’ to our students and in acknowledging their unsettled feelings, we are helping them to understand that not knowing and confusion is part of the learning process. In naming, accepting and facing up to these ‘unknowns’ students learn resilience and become unafraid of challenges. Part of moving students through the Liminal Space shows also that we as teachers are challenging our student to think deeply about their learning.
The image below captures for me the liminal space perfectly as we let go of what we know and reach towards new understanding. It’s not a comfortable place to be!
It’s been a challenging and exciting 8 weeks. There have been many hours spent investigating learning spaces which I hadn’t considered or thought of previously. While reflecting on the Aha! moments it has allowed me to see how far I have come in such a short space of time. I now look at learning spaces in a whole new light and have already effected changes within my own class.